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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Book Information

   

Title: Why Agree? Why Move?
Subtitle: Unifying Agreement-Based and Discourse Configurational Languages
Written By: Shigeru Miyagawa
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262513555
Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monograph
Description:

An unusual property of human language is the existence of movement
operations. Modern syntactic theory from its inception has dealt with the
puzzle of why movement should occur. In this monograph, Shigeru Miyagawa
combines this question with another, that of the occurrence of agreement
systems. Using data from a wide range of languages, he argues that movement
and agreement work in tandem to achieve a specific goal: to imbue natural
language with enormous expressive power. Without movement and agreement, he
contends, human language would be merely a shadow of itself, with severe
limitation on what can be expressed.

Miyagawa investigates a variety of languages, including English, Japanese,
Bantu languages, Romance languages, Finnish, and Chinese. He finds that
every language manifests some kind of agreement, some in the form of the
familiar person/number/gender system and others in the form of what Katalin
É. Kiss calls "discourse configurational" features such as topic and focus.
A key proposal of his argument is that the computational system in syntax
deals with the wide range of agreement types uniformly-- as if there were
just one system-- and an integral part of this computation turns out to be
movement. Why Agree? Why Move? is unique in proposing a unified system for
movement and agreement across language groups that are vastly diverse--
Bantu languages, East Asian languages, Indo-European languages, and others.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Morphology
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262013614
ISBN-13: 9780262013611
Pages: 200
Prices: U.S. $ 50.00

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262513552
ISBN-13: 9780262513555
Pages: 200
Prices: U.S. $ 25.00